Reaching the global target to reduce stunting: What will it cost and how will we pay for it?

The world is currently badly off track to meet the global stunting target to reduce the number of children under five who suffer from stunting by 40% by 2025.

Current investment levels are woefully inadequate to reduce the number of stunted children from the current level of 159 million to the target level of less than 100 million. Urgent action to scale up financing is required, but until now the funding needs and financing scenarios have been unclear.

The World Bank, Results for Development Institute (R4D), and 1,000 Days, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, recently released an analysis of funding gaps and financing scenarios to reach the global stunting target.  The analysis estimates it will cost approximately an additional $8.50 per child per year to meet the global stunting target. This cost covers the scale-up of high-impact, proven interventions focused in the 1,000 day window from a woman’s pregnancy to her child’s second birthday. These solutions include improving: maternal nutrition, infant and young child feeding practices with an emphasis on promoting exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life, and young child nutrition through micronutrient supplementation and the provision of nutritious complementary foods.

As there is a significant gap between what is needed to achieve the target and what is currently being spent, reaching the global target will require greater commitment from countries and donors, and a global prioritization and harmonization of nutrition investments.

Check out the complete analysis of funding gaps and financing scenarios here. This is the first in a series of financing analyses for each of the global nutrition targets.